Easy Accessible Chemical Is Becoming a Popular Drug

By: Paul Aker
By: Paul Aker

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There's a good chance your dentist has it, but do your kids have laughing gas?

Nitrous oxide's been around for a long time, but now experts say a new generation is hurting itself with the chemical.

High school students who want to get high know what to say, they call it nitrous, nitro, or "good air."

The mind-altering gas, sometimes called Whippit, gives users an instant high, but it can cause brain damage, and be deadly in extreme cases. School kids say the stuff is just about everywhere.

A local drug counselor says the problem's getting worse.

"Nitrous Oxide is becoming more common and has not been common before," said Clinical Psychologist Dr. Joseph Hertzler.

Part of the problem might be easy access. Pastry chefs use canisters of the gas to make whip cream, and while some chefs keep his supply under tight control, the Community Advocate team found other suppliers much less guarded.

We called local head shops and adult bookstores. While some don't carry nitrous, several others admitted they sold it and the paraphernalia used to help people get high.

Parents, here's what to look for: if your teenager has unexplainable whip cream cans, balloons or small little canisters, you need to start asking questions. They could be the best warning signs you'll get about Nitrous use.

Experts also say if your child has become abnormally rebellious or shows other drastic behavioral changes, you should consider confronting him or her.

If you have information for our Community Advocate to investigate, click on the Community Advocate icon, or you can call us at 946-1384.

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